The cost of home energy has skyrocketed over the past few years. Many people are now looking to cut back on costs in order to save money. One way to do this is by installing a solar panel system on your home. However, before you sign up for the installer’s plan, be aware of the potential disadvantages. Let’s take a look at why a solar panel system isn’t worth it!
What You Need to Know Before You Start
Before you even think about putting a solar panel system on your home, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. First and foremost, it’s important to understand how much energy your home currently uses. For example, if your home uses 1,000 kWh per month, putting in a solar panel system will only generate 200 kWh of energy per month, or enough to power a single light bulb. So, while a solar panel system might seem like a great idea, it isn’t right for every location. In addition, panel systems generally aren’t practical for homes that get less than one panel’s worth of sunlight per day. In order to offset the energy used by your home, you’d need to put 20 panels on your roof.
The Cost of Installing a Solar Panel System
The cost of installing solar panels varies depending on many factors. The first and most obvious is the size of the installation. The cost of a 1 kW system will generally cost less than installing a 10 kW system. On average, it’s between $2 and $3 per watt of solar energy generated. The cost of the installation is just one part of the overall cost. The next portion is the labor to actually install the panels. Many people don’t factor in labor costs when looking at the cost of installing solar panels, but it’s important. If you have the expertise, it’s possible to install a solar panel system yourself, but it could take several hours. If you have a large roof, this could be a dealbreaker.
Is There Enough Sunlight in Your Location?
The next thing you need to consider before going solar is where the panels will be located. Like with any energy source, there are two things that determine the success of a solar panel system: sunlight and the angle of the light. The angle of the light is important, because it dictates how much energy you’ll actually get. Areas with high angles of sunlight, such as the southwest, will get more energy out of a panel than areas with lower angles of sunlight, such as the northeast.
Solar Panels Have Limitations
While the idea of generating your own electricity sounds great, it’s important to remember that solar panels have limitations. First, they can only produce energy when the sun is out. In other words, they don’t produce any energy during the night. Second, they can produce a maximum amount of energy based on the amount of sunlight they receive. Depending on your location, panels will typically produce anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of their potential.
Solar Panels Need Maintenance
Finally, it’s important to remember to maintain your solar panels. While they are a self-generating source of energy, they are still part of the power grid. If a panel stops generating power, the rest of the grid will suffer because the power company will reduce the amount of power that is being delivered to your home. To maintain your panels, you’ll need to clean them, check for any problems, and reposition them on a regular basis. Since it takes about an hour to do a full cleaning, you’ll want to do it at least once a month.
The Power Company can change their agreement
One of the biggest issues with solar panel systems is that they aren’t guaranteed by any kind of contract. While this might sound like a positive, it’s important to remember that the power company can change their agreement at any time. For example, if they add more renewable sources to the grid, such as wind power, they could reduce the amount of electricity that is being produced by solar panels. Similarly, if the price of electricity rises, the power company could decide to raise rates for all customers.
If you’re looking to save money on your energy bill, a solar panel system isn’t going to cut it. The upfront cost is considerable, and you can only hope that the sun is shining when the system is producing electricity. The amount of energy that you’ll get depends on the angle of the light, so you’re not guaranteed any power. And the power company can change the terms of your contract at any time.